Failed Saving Config settings


I have problems saving any changes to my config file. When I change any settings, I go to save the new configuration and a message pops up saying “Failed saving config…”, etc. This happens when I load a core and content. If I bring up just Retroarch with no core, I can save just fine.

I’m running on Win10. This was happening with an RA version I loaded in Oct 2018, but it’s still happening in the latest version, 1.7.6.

When running a particular core and game, I’d like to be able to save button layout settings for different games and platforms. Currently I can only make changes to settings when no core is present.

I’ve seen this discussed online, but haven’t seen a viable solution. Is there a workaround for this?


Are you using the remapping system or trying to save entire config files?


Not sure what you mean.

I’m launching RA, loading a core and content, and just trying to make any change and save. For instance, I wanted RA to launch full screen, so I changed that selection then tried to Save Config and the message pops up (“Failed…”). I can make and save the change when no core is loaded. Ultimately, I want to save a different button config for each core or game, but when I couldn’t even change the full screen selection and save, I stopped there.

I’m guessing that it’s the config file that’s in the main directory.


Typically, you don’t want to save an entirely new config to change something for a core. Instead, you can change whatever setting you want and then go to quick menu > overrides and ‘save core/game override’. Then, whenever you load that core/game, the override will be applied on top of your normal settings.

For input-related changes, go to quick menu > controls where it lists your gamepad’s buttons on the left column and the core’s functions on the right, and you can cycle through the functions to move them around on the physical gamepad. From that same menu, you can save game/core remaps.


I had similar trouble in Linux. It was related with users privileges and permissions.

One solution could be to run RA as administrator. If it doesn’t work, the “config” path can be set in Settings > Directory. Try to create a new folder for configs in your personal folder, like My Documents, and set this for the config savings.

For custom binds, its more interesting to save only this setting for this game or core instead of overwritting the whole system config every time. Because, overtime, it could turn the system to be very unstable

To perform that, you can go to “controls” submenu in quickmenu (when a game is running). There bind every key you need and then press on “Save Game Remap File”.

If you still having problems to save this file, the path can be set too in “directory” setting as explained before.


Thank you! This pointed me in the right direction!

One thing though, as I said I would like to have a different button layout for each game platform. I can definitely go into the Quick Menu and set the Controls for each games series. The problem is, it lists every button that appears on a standard modern controller (like an Xbox controller). As you know, the Atari 2600 (for example) had very few controls (a single button, stick, and then two switches on the console itself).

If you go under Input under the Settings menu, it shows ONLY the controls for the Core you’re loading. This is so much easier to use, as you know which button maps to which controls on the actual system/game. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a way to save that functionality, unless saving the config for that core under Quick Menu will do that (I haven’t checked yet).

A different issue: I haven’t looked into this yet, but I might as well ask now, but I’m using an arcade-like board that has a Spinner and Track Ball. How do I map these controls in RetroArch, so I can use the Spinner to play Paddle control games in Atari 2600 (and arcade games like Tempest), and the Track Ball for games like Centipede and such? I can’t seem to figure out how these controls are seen in RetroArch.

Thanks again for ALL your help!


Trackballs are usually mapped as mice. I’m not sure about spinners, but I think they’re usually just mapped to an analog axis.


Yes. The trackball acts as a mouse, and the spinner moves the mouse on the x-axis.

But how do you map these controls? For instance, I pull up Centipede (Mame) under Retroarch - when I Tab into the control panel for that game, how do I call out the Trackball as being the active controller? Mapping buttons is easy, I just don’t know how to set the spinner and trackball. The same with Tempest and setting the Spinner to control.

And under Stella, when playing a game like Breakout (2600), how do I map the spinner as the controller? (I only seem to be able to select “Retropad” or “Retropad w/Analog” as potential controller options under Stella.)

Thanks again so much for your help! I’m getting there, little by little.


Thank You! I was having the same issue and you explained it well…